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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Train Garden in the Germany Pavilion at EPCOT--A Story

 I was once again reminded of the boy’s love for trains and I remembered what happened in the Germany Pavilion at EPCOT in the train garden.

You see, there is a lovely train garden in the Germany Pavilion at EPCOT. Various G-gauge trains traverse the rails, go through the tunnels that are under the sidewalk, and in general, delight the guests that take a moment to find out what is “over there.”

For us, a trip to EPCOT is not complete without a visit to Germany and the train garden.  In fact, the boy’s day is calculated by how long until we get to Germany or when are we going to Germany.  The timing is crucial, as if we go to Germany in the middle of a rushing part of our touring schedule, we are sunk.  A visit to Germany is a 45 minute to 90 minute affair.

The husband and I know to look for a bench.  We know which ones have the bathrooms and drinking fountains nearby.  We often use the stop in Germany for snack, bringing turkey legs or funnel cake from the nearby American Adventure Pavilion.  Sometimes we separate for a while—leaving one of us with the boy while the other browses in the nearby shops.  We just know that our stop in Germany will be leisurely.

On our last visit to EPCOT and the train garden, the boy was somewhat distressed as the trolley just wasn’t running right.  The wheels were turning, but it would inch forward in a jerking motion.  The boy immediately began to keep an eye out for a Cast Member.  In the meantime, he would visit with the guests who were stopping to look at the trains, and point out that the little trolley needed help.

In a while, a Cast Member did appear and the boy approached to inform of the train trouble.  The Cast Member opened the gate to enter the train garden and did her best to fix the trolley.  No luck. 

Now, this is where it got interesting.  I could tell from watching the exchange the boy was just itching to make his way behind the gate and into the garden to fix that trolley himself.  He was talking to and convincing the Cast Member that he could help—he could fix the trolley.  The Cast Member, knowing that going into the garden would break policy, brought the trolley to him.  They visited for some time about what might be wrong with the trolley.
In the end, neither of them could fix the trolley.  But the boy was satisfied knowing he did everything he could do to help and left Germany happier for the experience and happier that he had had time to visit the train garden. 

****Rumor on the web indicates that someone is chosen each day near Germany, at the time World Showcase opens, to turn on the train garden.  We haven't been in that area of the park when World Showcase opens to be sure, but it is something in the memory banks in case we are ever in that area at that time.  And, it never hurts to ask.

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